HYDRO Nepal Journal – Issue 6 (January 2010)

Table of Contents
Editorial PDF Pages
Need to Take Firm Action
View PDF 1
Articles Authors PDF Pages
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project: Nepal’s Portion of Power

After the proverbial 13 year ‘ban bas’, the 1996 Mahakali treaty was “re-activated” in 2009 when Nepal and India constituted the Pancheshwar Development Authority to finalize the Detailed Project Report of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project and thereafter undertake the execution, operation and maintenance of the project. In this context, the article reverts back to the ratification time of the Mahakali treaty in 1996 and dwells exclusively on the issues then raised pertaining to Nepal’s portion of power from Pancheshwar project. The then prime minister and water resources minister gave CPN-UML party general secretary and the CPN-UML Mahakali study team coordinator written replies (a) on India being “forced to buy” Nepal’s portion of power, (b) that “relevant alternatives” meant “thermal and gas plants and excludes hydropower plants”, and iii) that “savings in cost to the beneficiaries as compared with the relevant alternatives” meant the same as “avoided cost of alternative principle.” No attempts were made to elicit the Government of India’s interpretations on these vital issues. Instead, while the water resources minister claimed Rs 21 billion annually from the sale of Nepal’s portion of Pancheshwar power to India, the not-to-be outwitted party secretary claimed an astronomical annual revenue of Rs 120 billion. The now incumbent prime minister has come up with another attractive figure of Rs 45.88 billion annually. The article attempts to point out that if due diligence is not undertaken immediately on the ambiguities prevailing in the Mahakali treaty and the letters of exchange, then Nepal may well end up as like Paraguay vis-a-vis Brazil on the 14,000 MW Itaipu hydropower project.

Keywords: Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, Mahakali treaty, avoided cost, power revenues, Nepal

SB Pun View PDF 2-6
Electricity Crisis (Load Shedding) in Nepal, Its Manifestations and Ramifications

Nepal is in the grip of electricity crisis. The electricity crisis of this millennium began in 2006. Nepal saw the last electricity crisis of the last millennium in 1999 and with the commissioning of Khimti Hydroelectric Project in 2000, there was no load shedding until 2005. Earlier, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) used to attribute load shedding to “no water in rivers.” Since the last wet season, however, Nepal has suffered from load shedding even while struggling with “flood” problem. With no electricity for 16 hours a day, the last dry season was the worst so far. Nepal’s macro economy is suffering heavily due to this phenomenon. It is anomalous, however, that even at the time of load shedding the NEA has been spilling energy due to mismatch of system as well as transmission congestion. The NEA has promised respite from the problem in next five years, but the facts and figures do not corroborate the claim. The government of Nepal’s (GoN) defective vision and short sighted policy is at the root of the problem, one that can be mitigated by setting the vision right and making the policy more forward looking and based on the principle of self-reliance.

Keywords: electricity crisis, load shedding, NEA, IPPs, adverse impact, anomaly, respite, GoN Policy, tariff, Nepal

Ratna Sansar Shrestha View PDF 7-17
The Use of Self Supporting Capacity of Rock Mass for Sustainable Hydropower: An Analysis of the Middle Marsyangdi
Headrace Tunnel, Nepal

The history of hydropower development in the Himalaya indicates that many tunnels have suffered from cost overruns and delays. These issues are directly dependent on the quality of rock mass and the permanent rock support applied in underground excavation. Right judgment and proper evaluation of the self supporting capability of the rock mass and the use of optimum rock support systems help considerably in reducing construction cost and delays. This paper examines such issues as geological conditions in the Himalayas and varying approaches and costs in tunnel construction. An assessment is made regarding the exclusion of permanent concrete lining in the headrace tunnel of the 72MW Middle Marsyangdi Hydroelectric Project in Nepal. The project has 5.2 km fully concrete lined headrace tunnel that passes through fair to poor rock mass. The evaluation is based on the use of actually recorded rock mass quality of the headrace tunnel during construction and rock support principle used at the comparable Khimti Hydro Project headrace tunnel. The evaluation includes calculation of equivalent tunnel section for similar headloss, stability analysis, assessment of possible water leakage, and required injection grouting measures. We conclude that the headrace tunnel without permanent concrete lining was possible and would have been equally stable, at considerable financial savings.

Keywords: Equivalent tunnel section, squeezing, tunnel lining, stability analysis, leakage control, hydropower, Nepal

Kiran K. Shrestha and Krishna K. Panthi View PDF 18-26
Domestic Rainwater Harvesting as a Water Supply Option in Sri Lanka

Domestic rainwater harvesting has been revived in Sri Lanka since 1995 with the Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project. Since then, through the efforts of the Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum (LRWHF, an NGO set up to promote rainwater harvesting for domestic need), the technology and the concept has been spread to other parts of the country. At present there are over 31,000 domestic rainwater systems in the country. Rainwater harvesting has been successfully legalized in Sri Lanka.

Keywords: Rainwater harvesting, water quality, Sri Lanka, technology, policy

Tanuja Ariyananda View PDF 27-30
Climate Change: Uncertainty for Hydropower Development in Nepal

There is a worldwide consensus that climate change is a real, rapidly advancing and widespread threat facing this century. This is a crucial issue in Himalayan and special in Nepal because of its possible impact on water resource, biodiversity, and consequence on economic growth of the region. The increase trend of glacial retreat and variability on temperature and participation has the direct impact on the water resource and hydropower development. Mountain regions are particularly vulnerable, both because warming trends are higher and the impacts are magnified by the extreme changes in altitude over small distances. It indicates the great variability of hydro-climatic variability in major rivers and their tributaries. Decrease runoff will have direct impact on the hydropower development, but there is uncertainty about the role of spatial variability of changing climatic scenarios and their possible impact for hydropower development in large and middle rivers. This paper presents the scenarios of climate change in Nepal in terms of hydro-climatic variability. The first part describes hydro-climatic variability and its uncertainty for hydropower development, and the second part deals with the mitigation of uncertainties.

Keywords: Climate change, deglaciation, GLOF, water resources, hydrological cycle, hydropower, Himalayas, Nepal

Mahesh Pathak View PDF 31-34
CFD Analysis on Pumps Working as Turbines

Reverse running centrifugal pumps are an effective source of reducing the equipment cost in small hydropower plants. The manufacturers do not provide any information on the performance and flow characteristics when pumps are operated in turbine mode. Lack of Pump as Turbine (PAT) performance data is a significant barrier to the wider use of PAT. Application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a recent attempt for predicting the performance of PAT. CFD analysis is an effective design tool for predicting the performance of reverse running operation of centrifugal pumps. But some deviations still exist in experimental and CFD results of reverse operation of pumps. Future works in the field of computational analysis can further improve the prediction of pumps in reverse operation.

Keywords: Pump as Turbine (PAT), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), pump

Himanshu Nautiyal, Varun and Anoop Kumar View PDF 35-37
Control Global Warming by Reducing Atmospheric CO2 to Carbon and Producing Energy

A multipurpose plant setup is discussed using the concept of House Process and various other techniques to achieve objectives like reducing atmospheric CO2 to carbon and thus reduce global warming, production of hydrogen gas, to produce electricity, to provide energy feedback for improved efficiency. These objectives are obtained by a six stage process. In the 1st stage atmospheric CO2 is absorbed using an improvised version of House Process. In the 2nd stage, CO2 is produced by heating NaHCO3, a by-product of House Process. In the 3rd stage, reaction of the produced CO2 with Mg occurs, to get Magnesium Oxide and Carbon. The 4th stage consists of recovery of Mg from its oxide by using a modified House Process and consequent electrolysis of MgCl2.The 5th stage, energy produced by the exothermic reactions is used to produce steam and produce electrical energy by rotating a turbine. Finally, hydrogen gas is produced by the reaction of steam and magnesium. Thus the various objectives are achieved.

Keywords: House Process, modified house process, fuel cell, multipurpose plant, electric energy production, hydrogen production, capturing atmospheric CO2.

R. Vineel and Savita Dixit View PDF 38-41
Effects of Methanol on the Treatability of Black Liquor using UASB Reactor

This study was conducted on a laboratory scale UASB (upflow anaerobic sludge blanket) reactor, treating an actual pulping effluent at an organic loading rate and hydraulic retention time of 2.1 kg-COD/m3d and 44 hours, respectively. To investigate the impacts of methanol, it was subjected to the reactor with the feeding solution (substrate) in concentration ranging from 100 mgTOC/l to 700mgTOC/l. It was observed that the overall TOC and COD removal efficiency of the reactor was improved gradually from 36% and 34% to 57% and 55%, respectively, by increasing the concentration of methanol up to 600 mgTOC/l, but very little effects of methanol on the removal efficiency of lignin were observed. The lignin removal efficiency of the reactor slightly changed from 25% to 31%. The gas conversion rate was found to be improved slightly from 0.31[L-CH4/g-CODrem.day] to 0.34 [L-CH4/g-CODrem.day], with an average methane composition of 61%. Hence, addition of methanol to the reactor can improve the black liquor degradation up to certain extent.

Keywords: Black liquor, methanol, UASB, lignin, TOC

Arshad Ali, Hasim Nisar Hashmi and Intikhab A.Q. View PDF 42-46
Calibration and Validation of SWAT Model for Low Lying Watersheds: A Case Study on the Kliene Nete Watershed, Belgium

Use of easily accessible; public domain modelling software called Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and its testing in watersheds has become essential to check developers’ claims of its applicability. The SWAT model performance on Kliene Nete Watershed (Belgium) is examined. Given the watershed’s characteristic of a low lying; shallow ground water table, the test becomes an interesting task to perform. This paper presents calibration and validation of the watershed covering area of 581km2. Flow separation is carried on using Water Engineering Time Series PRO cessing tool (WETSPRO) and shows that around 60% of the total flow is contributed by base flow. Altogether seven SWAT model parameters have been calibrated with heuristic approach for the time frame of 1994-1998. Validation of these calibrated parameters in another independent time frame (1999-2002) is carried out. The parameter CH_k2 (Channel Effective Hydraulic Conductivity) is found to be the most sensitive. Nash Sutcliff Efficiency (NSE) values for the calibration and validation periods are found to be 74 and 67 percentage, respectively. These ‘goodness-of-fit’ statistics, supported by graphical representations, show that the SWAT model can simulate such watershed with reasonable accuracy.

Keywords: SWAT, WETSPRO, Kliene Nete Watershed (Belgium), NSE

Narayan K. Shrestha, P.C. Shakti, Pabitra Gurung View PDF 52-54
Revision of the West Seti Dam Design in Nepal

Recent research on the effects of seismic activity on concrete faced rock-filled dams (CFRD) is examined in light of the potential CFRD-type West Seti Dam under consideration in Nepal. Revision of Nepal’s West Seti Dam design is recommended.

Keywords: Concrete faced rock-filled dams (CFRD), seismic activity, West Seti Dam, Nepal

A.B. Thapa View PDF 47-51
Modernization of Farmer’s Managed Irrigation Systems in Nepal

The irrigation infrastructures in Farmer’s Managed Irrigation Systems (FMIS) of Nepal were mostly built from the local materials of mud, stone, and forest products with rudimentary traditional methods, practiced over many centuries. These systems are operated and maintained solely by the community farmers or an individual family. The Nepal Irrigation Sector Project (NISP), funded under the credit assistances of the World Bank, sponsored the modernization of these FMIS in the three western regions of Nepal from 1998 to 2004. The paper gives an account of the infrastructures built under the project to modernize the FMIS, and presents some facts about the impacts of the assistances to FMIS in relieving problems faced by farmers. The structures in the FMIS differ nominally according to the ecological region, due to the terrain and characteristics of the conveyance systems. In the hills, generally, lining and cross drainage structures are common; whereas, in the Terai, it is mostly the headworks structure due to lack of traditional materials as shrubs and forest products. The NISP assisted these FMIS with the participation of the users and their contribution in the civil works from seven to 15 percent. The users were involved in the design and construction of the infrastructures from the very initiation of the schemes. The project had good impacts on system performance and, thus, in agriculture production.

Keywords: FMIS, irrigation, participatory development, water distribution, modernization, Nepal

Achyut Man Singh View PDF 55-60
Decision Making in the Electricity Bureaucracy: Case of Budhi Gandaki

There is a power shortage in the Nepalese market and in the peaking demand as well. This clearly indicates the need for storage type hydropower stations. The Budhi Gandaki (storage) Project (BGP) was identified and studied in 1983. The project has been proposed with an installed capacity of 600 MW by constructing a 225 m high dam on Budhi Gandaki River in central Nepal. The main attraction of this project is its nearness to the load centers. The government of Nepal decided to implement the project for more than three times; but there were no seriously interested investor. It has been 25 years that we have been talking about this project; but why the project is not happening is a crucial question to be addressed. Only recently, six developers have shown interest to develop it in association with the Nepal Electricity Authority. It is also interesting to know about the status of this project that has been left untouched since early studies in the 1980s. Further, there is a proposal of a road construction network in the BGP site area which might ruin the project.

Keywords: storage type hydropower projects, downstream benefits, private investment, resettlement and rehabilitation

Prabesh Paudyal and Bashanta Dhoj Shrestha View PDF 61-64
Assessment of Trophic State of Lakes: A Case of Mansi Ganga Lake in India

Due to rapid growth of population coupled with urbanization, the water bodies, especially, rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs etc are deteriorating due to heavy pollutational stresses resulting in the scarcity of drinking water resources. The present paper attempts to review the work done on the development of TSI for assessment of trophic state of lakes and applicability of most important TSI methods for Indian lakes. The paper also deals with the revival of Mansi Ganga Lake in Mathura, especially, assessment of its trophic state based on the data collected for 2006–09. The results indicated that the lake was oligotrophic during 2006 which has become mesotrophic in the year 2008 showing increase in pollution. After the chemical treatment for the removal of algae, the lake water was drained and results of sampling done in 2009 (pre-monsoon) indicated it to be eutrophic. This calls for its immediate revival and accordingly, the conservation measure are suggested.

Keywords: Eutrophication, Trophic State Index (TSI), Total Phosphorus (TP), Secchi depth (SD), Chlorophyll ‘a’ (Chl’a’)

M.P. Sharma, Arun Kumar and Shalini Rajvanshi View PDF 65-72
Interview with Mr. Deepak Bohra
Mr. Deepak Bohra View PDF 78-80